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Set the Stars Alight

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  735 ratings  ·  366 reviews
Lucy Clairmont's family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it's Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she's discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earli
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers
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Average rating 4.47  · 
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 ·  735 ratings  ·  366 reviews

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May 04, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is awkward...I accidentally marked "currently reading" on my own book. So now, what do I do? Rate it? (Nope, not going to happen!) Say I've finished it? (Yep, finished it about 5 times over in the editing process-- a different book each time!) Or maybe just tell you that as I wrote this book, this "fight for light", this act of mining for wonder, I wondered but never could have imagined what would be happening in the world upon its release, a year after finishing writing the original ...more
Rachel McMillan
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Here's the deal, about a trillion years ago, a writer made sure I had a copy of her novella Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale. Which was just one long string of achingly beautiful imagery tied up with a Christmas bow. She had also written another novella called Tin Can Serenade and I kept wondering what the heck was wrong with the publishing world because where were the FULL LENGTH AWARD WINNING NOVELS. Well, I was a die hard fan. Everything this author
Dash fan
5☆ Simply Magical & Captivating, A Must Read for 2020!

Set the Stars Alight is truly a captivating and magical novel that I couldn't put down and can't recommend enough!

As soon as I read the blurb and caught sight of the book cover I was mesmerised.
This is my first book by Amanda Dykes and it's definitely not going to be my last.

Set the Stars Alight is an Enchanting, Captivating, Compelling and Heart Warming story that will have you Engrossed with stories of mystery, adventure, astronomy, the sta
Deanne Patterson
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deanne by:
In all honesty I have never read a book quite like this one. One that I wish I could give so many more stars than five to.
The book hits a dark spot but it claws it's way out of the dark, it's hope, it's light, it's inspiration .
I loved the character's and there's no doubt the author makes them come alive on the pages for us.
The imagery I had reading this, I was just in awe as I could picture everything so vividly .
After reading this my reading senses have been reawakened and I will perceive book
Melissa Tagg
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Amanda Dykes’ newest book almost two weeks ago (thank you, NetGalley) and I still haven’t written the review because, well, I just don’t have words for how beautiful it is! Seriously. It’s just gorgeous…it’s lyrical and enchanting, heartbreaking in some places and so inspiring and uplifting in others. Every little detail feels perfectly placed and meaningful in a way that honestly astounds me. Last year, Amanda’s first novel—Whose Waves These Are—was my favorite book of the year (and it's ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think Amanda Dykes could disappoint. To take a story about a long lost ship, the broken patriarchal relationship between a father and son, then finding a family who takes him as he is, and then that boy giving his life to make sure the daughter has all she ever needs. In duel time, the simple stories of a watchmaker, his wife, and daughter taking in the lost soul of a boy and bringing all his dreams to realization and watching out for their daughter even though she didn’t know it.

The st
Amanda Dykes has a signature style for sure. It’s poetic, lyrical, a bit whimsical, and wholly her own. It feels a bit like magic, but somehow all of the layers come together into something true and beautiful.

The modern day storyline involves watchmaker’s daughter, Lucy, with a heart for the sea, meeting and befriending Dash, a boy with a heart for the stars. Though time and circumstance pull them apart, later the stars and the sea bring them back together to solve a historical mystery. Lucy has
Sarah Sundin
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sigh. Some books come along and leave you…dreamy. Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes is such a book. The writing is ethereal, the story wondrous. There’s something magical about the book that pulls you in as stories did when you were little and anything was possible. But the message, the heartbreak, and the depth of the symbolism elevates this above a simple tale. I feel bereft of words and yet overflowing with words, all at the same time. All I can say – read this book.
Jocelyn Green
Set the Stars Alight is one of those rare novels where the title is as beautiful as the cover is stunning, and the story not only lives up to the expectation immediately set by those two first impressions, but manages to exceed it. ⁠

This is not a novel to rush through. Its literary quality begs the reader to slow down, savor each word and line, to allow each layer to unfold at its own pace. And there are many layers! I'm astounded by the depth and breadth #AmandaDykes poured into this one book.
Sarah Monzon
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amanda Dykes whispers to each reader who opens the pages of this book, “Cuddle close. Scooch in.” With magic in her fingertips, she spins a timeless tail of wonderment and mystery, always whispering, “just think.” The impossible might not be so impossible after all. Broaden your minds. Let the story expand your reasoning.
Written in artistry, Set the Stars Alight isn’t a book meant to entertain. It’s meant to work as a parable—a lesson in story form that adheres to your mind, unfolding layer aft
Heidi Chiavaroli
Wow. A simply amazing book. Not only is Amanda's writing prose beyond compare, this story is one of the most beautiful I've read in a long time. It's a split-timeline novel, but it's so much more than that. It's a beautiful parable breathing fairytale-like qualities alongside gentle romance, a puzzle that comes to perfect completion with its satisfying end. Amanda Dykes is, quite simply, a master storyteller, and this is a masterpiece of a story. ...more
An atmospheric and absorbing story of two sets of characters and the threads that tie their stories together.

I tried several times to get into the story and each time the 2020 timeline totally threw me off because of the book being written beforehand and completely being unaware of the whole covid mess. England with meetings and people hopping from town to town to visit each other was just a bit much. Pet peeve anyway, because authors setting stories gently in the future can’t drop little realis
This story was definitely beautifully written. This author is my ‘out of my comfort zone’ challenge with the way she writes. I loved how her historical story symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Though I really enjoyed this author’s first book, I found myself bored with this one. The Historical plot took a while to get into and while I have connected better with the modern day characters, the subject matter was, for me, not very interesting.

Other readers loved it though, so if you like the lyrical
Angie H
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well I really don't know how to write a review for this book. It was a beautiful story and beautifully written. ( and I don't normally describe books this way). Amanda just has a way with words. Even when I had no idea what was going on I was captivated by the writing. The faith elements woven throughout the book were subtle but impactful. I could probably gush more but from my 5 star rating it is probably pretty clear that I loved this book!
Also if you read this book make sure you don't skip t
Christine Indorf
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have to say I loved this book. The first few chapters I needed tissues to keep on reading. I love the story of Lucy and Dash, the watchmaker and his wife. Growing up in a household of stories and books, what could be greater? When grown up Lucy is on her own she want to fine the ship the Juliblee, can she with Dash's help? The story to me, was like poetry. The word flowed and the story almost became magical. Why did i give it 4 stars? I didn't like the ending. Amanda Dykes was brave to write i ...more
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I can't shake the feeling that we've somehow found ourselves right smack in the middle of one of his tales. But instead of hearing it, we're living it."

Lucy Claremont's beloved father was a story teller extraordinaire. Mesmerizing his young daughter and her best friend Dashel Greene with fireside compendiums, Lucy and Dash often wondered where the truth disappeared and the fairy tale began. Eventually Dash left London to follow his dreams and Lucy became stuck in hers, until in the midst of cri
Camille Eide
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won't summarize the story as others do that very well, if summary of the plot is what you're looking for. I tend to come away from a book in a more or less philosophical state of mind. Less if it barely scratched the surface of my soul, more if it dug down deep, fiddled with my heart, mind, and soul, and captivated me. This book is definitely the latter.

Set the Stars Alight is a lyrical tale of love, loss, hope, and light, so moving, so powerful, so rich and satisfying like a timeless tale sp
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
Incredibly unique blending of two time periods largely through the use of fables or passed down stories. In the current day thread, Lucy befriends Dashel when they are both young children. They are lonely children and their friendship is a bright light. Lucy's father spins tales for them to enjoy and learn from.

Two hundred years prior there is a young boy, Frederick, that like Dashel feels rather alone in the world.

There is a mystery that bridges these two stories and it was enjoyable to see if
Paula Shreckhise
Wow! Just Wow! After reading the debut book by this author, I was anxious to dive into this one. It certainly is on par with that excellent book.
This is an achingly beautiful story that has echoes of The Great Shepherd, The One who would give his life for his friends, and The Almighty God of the universe!
Simon Claremont has given his daughter, Lucy, the gift of stories, puzzles and riddles all containing Biblical Truth. He tells her: Don’t forget it, Lucy my girl. The God of the stars...He is
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I randomly checked this out from the new book shelf at my local library...and I'm glad I did! ...more
Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
The wide-eyed wonder, lyrical prose, and unforgettable cast of adorable characters captured my heart. It’s hard to describe the wondrous feeling this book gave me . . . like the enchanting sparkle of fireflies on a balmy summer’s evening . . . or like sharing stories around a crackling autumn bonfire . . . or like listening to the sweet ABBA song “I Have a Dream” for the millionth time. After hugging the book (my Kindle) countless times, this gorgeous novel has been indelibly added to my list of ...more
Regina Jennings
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a thousand other reviewers have said, every page Amanda writes is poetry. She is a fantastic wordsmith, but there's plenty of plot in this book as well. In Set the Stars Alight, childhood friends Lucy and Dashel grow up under the tutelage of Lucy's father, who tells them fantastical stories and unsolvable riddles. Little do they realize that he is paving the way for them to find healing and find each other when times are tough.

As an adult, Lucy's obsession with finding the lost ship of the tr
Karen R
An amazing story masterfully told encompassing all of my favorite elements: adventure, history, family, mystery, inspiration, and tender romance. This was a perfect read to savor on summer evenings. I didn't want it to end--an instant add to my favorite books list!
"Let the story begin..."
The dual timeline worked well to bring the mystery to light and develop the characters' relationships. It moves easily between the contemporary setting in London and Channel coastline, to the early 1800's and
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m sure that my words won’t do this book justice. It’s such a wonderful book! This book is so full of hope, wonder, and light. There’s just something magical about this one. It is just the story that I needed to read right now! I absolutely loved it! Her stories are so incredibly unique. I did enjoy the little nod to her other book. This is one book that I could read again and again!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions e
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set the Stars Alight is hands down my top fiction read of Q2 2020. I came a bit late to the game with Whose Waves These Are (Dykes' first novel); when I did make it there, I knew it was something special. So I might have jumped a little too happily at the chance to read Set the Stars Alight!

The two books are standalone; feel free to read either first. I guarantee once you read one, you'll want to read the other immediately!

Dykes has a way with words that I've not experienced in many other author
I am amazed at how Amanda Dykes has crafted the stories in Set The Stars Alight, how she has woven together two stories or overcoming great grief and challenges, incorporated a thrilling mystery that seems hard to believe isn’t real and all this done with a lyrical prose that sweeps the reader away.

Lucy grew up knowing the love of her parents and the stories they told her and her childhood friend, Dash. Now she has lost both parents and Dash has moved away to study the stars, but her career pat
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Set the Stars Alight was a well-written and had the feel of nostalgia of all that was forgotten, but unfortunately, I was never able to find myself within this story or connect with any of the characters. Its pace was too slow for me, and a lot of it was lost on me. 2.5 stars

My gratitude to Bethany House and NetGalley. Opinions expressed are mine.
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Set the Stars Alight is a rich, multilayer story that begins with, Lucy and her parents, a family in London, in modern times and the friendship of a young American boy, Dashel Greene, who has moved around living with one family member and then another. Lucy's parents were his adopted parents and meant so much to him with their rich storytelling that they passed on to Lucy and Dash. After years apart, Lucy and Dash are reunited after her parents have passed. At a time in their careers, their path ...more
Breny and Books
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness, This book has touched my heart in such a way...I have no words.

Amanda, if you ever read this, I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for writing such a beautiful story of hope and light.

I don't even know where to start. I just merely finished reading the book a couple of minutes ago, and I'm still trying to process everything.

I could never have imagined that a split time story could be this powerful...could be weaved so beautifully the past and the present, like melody and harm
Jun 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can’t shake the feeling that we’ve somehow found ourselves right smack in the middle of one of his tales. But instead of hearing it, we’re living it.
- Amanda Dykes, Set the Stars Alight.

This was a beautiful story told in a very atmospheric and enchanting way. While I can appreciate the beauty of this story, it isn’t my usual style. It’s a very slow moving book and felt a bit confusing at times. I have a rather impatient personality, so I know other, more patient readers, would appreciate this
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